Medicare Part D – General Coverage Information
Many people rely on prescription drugs to help maintain and improve their health, and Medicare can help cover the costs. There are two ways of getting prescription drug coverage. If you choose to get your benefits through Original Medicare, you will need to join a stand-alone PDP (Prescription Drug Plan). (Note: Original Medicare and Medigap plans do not help cover the costs of prescription drugs.) If you choose to get your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan, you may choose one that includes prescription drug coverage, sometimes referred to as a Medicare Advantage Plan with prescription drug coverage, or an “MA-PD.”
Regardless of whether you have stand-alone PDP, or your drug coverage is packaged in an MA-PD, it is crucial that you compare your options, as the coverage can differ greatly. You will want to choose coverage that fits your current needs, preferences, and budget, and will protect your financial security now and in the future. You can review a plan’s formulary (list of covered drugs) before enrolling and make sure that your current medications are covered. You can compare premiums, deductibles, and copayments, and find a plan that will be right for you.
Most Medicare Prescription Drug Plans charge a monthly fee, but this monthly premium can vary between plans. (You pay this in addition to the Medicare Part B premium.) Most people only pay their Part D premium, but .if you don’t sign up for Part D when you’re first eligible, you may have to pay a Part D late enrollment penalty.
It’s important to note that if your modified adjusted gross income as reported on your IRS tax return from 2 years ago (the most recent tax return information provided to Social Security by the IRS) is above a certain limit, you may pay a Part D income-related monthly adjustment amount (Part D-IRMAA). This extra amount is in addition to your monthly plan premium, and is paid directly to Medicare, not to your plan. If you are required to pay this D-IRMAA, you must do so or risk losing your Part D coverage.